International Center for the History of Electronic Games
What We Do
The Strong’s International Center for the History of Electronic Games (ICHEG) collects, preserves, studies, and interprets video games, other electronic games, and related materials. A major goal for ICHEG is to examine the ways in which electronic games are changing how people play, learn, and connect with each other, including across boundaries of culture and geography.
Video Game History Timeline
Learn how video games are changing how people play, learn, and connect with each other—including across boundaries of culture and geography. Many artifacts illustrated in the timeline reside in The Strong’s collections.
World Video Game Hall of Fame
Discover the best, most influential video games of all time!
With more than 60,000 artifacts and hundreds of thousands of archival materials, ICHEG cares for the world’s most comprehensive collection dedicated to the history of video games. The collection includes games and the platforms on which they are played, game packaging and advertising, game-related publications, game-inspired consumer products, and other items that illustrate the impact of electronic games on people’s lives.
The Strong’s holdings include materials documenting the work of some of the foremost individuals and companies in the history of the video game industry. Collections include the personal papers of such influential game designers, programmers, and business leaders as Ralph Baer, Bill Budge, Jerry Lawson, Jordan Mechner, Carol Shaw, and Ken and Roberta Williams. Key business holdings include archives from Atari, Bally, Brøderbund, Her Interactive, MECC, Midway, Sierra, and Williams. The collections are made available to researchers from around the world and are featured in exhibits visited by more than half-a-million guests annually.
To learn more, see ICHEG Director Jon-Paul C. Dyson, PhD’s interview, “Collecting, Preserving, and Interpreting the History of Electronic Games,” in The Strong’s American Journal of Play.
In 2006, ICHEG established an interpretive framework that includes “Concentric Circles: A Lens for Exploring the History of Electronic Games” to help inform the museum’s collecting program and develop its long term, interactive exhibit eGameRevolution and subsequent exhibits. This framework examines electronic games through a continual zooming back and forth of a “lens of focus”—from a close-up look at the games themselves, to a broader look at who makes the games and how, to a wide-angle view of the impact of these games on players and society, to a panoramic consideration of the role of electronic games in the understanding of play.
Women in Games
Launched in 2017, the Women in Games initiative documents and celebrates the crucial contributions of women to the electronic games industry, past and present.
Video Game Preservation
Launched in 2011, ICHEG’s Video Capture Project is part of a multi-pronged response to the challenge of preserving video games.
ICHEG staff develop online and on-site exhibits including the World Video Game Hall of Fame.
ICHEG’s staff care for the collection, develop exhibits, present frequently at industry and academic events, and offer insights on The Strong’s blog and ICHEG Facebook page. This team works in partnership with industry and academic scholars and consultants Don Daglow, Stephen Jacobs, and Akinori (Aki) Nakamura. The Strong also has formal partnerships with Rochester Institute of Technology, Ritsumeikan University, and Nexon Computer Museum.
To inquire about donating to ICHEG, contact:
Jon-Paul C. Dyson, PhD, Director, International Center for the History of Electronic Games